Bound to Go

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All Music Guide - J. Poet
On Bound to Go, Andrew Calhoun delves into one of the American song bag's most inspirational niches, tunes that were composed in response to the history of slavery in the American South. There are spirituals with their thinly veiled messages of liberation, love songs and lullabies, work songs, prison songs, tunes that show an obvious African influence, and one song collected from the African-American soldiers who fought for the United States in World War I. Calhoun is joined by 14 fervent vocalists and eight musicians who support the singers with their understated power. Some of the album's 35 tracks are well-known, at least to folkies, but most are not, the result of Calhoun's...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - J. Poet
On Bound to Go, Andrew Calhoun delves into one of the American song bag's most inspirational niches, tunes that were composed in response to the history of slavery in the American South. There are spirituals with their thinly veiled messages of liberation, love songs and lullabies, work songs, prison songs, tunes that show an obvious African influence, and one song collected from the African-American soldiers who fought for the United States in World War I. Calhoun is joined by 14 fervent vocalists and eight musicians who support the singers with their understated power. Some of the album's 35 tracks are well-known, at least to folkies, but most are not, the result of Calhoun's exhaustive research and a determination to present unfamiliar songs telling this timeless story of inspiration and faith in the face of a system of indifferent evil. Most of the tunes are short, but they're all undeniably powerful. There are so many transcendent moments here that it's hard to highlight just a few. As the album unfolds -- and this is an album in the old sense, a unified work that holds together as a single work of art -- you can feel your spirit unfolding, lifted up by the power that generations of unknown composers and singers have put into these songs. That said, there are still moments that jump out at you: "Turkle Dove," with a tune that echoes through a dozen folk songs, sung in the jubilee gospel style by Casey Calhoun, Andrew Calhoun, and Fred Campeau; "Run to Jesus," a song given to the Fisk Jubilee Singers by Frederick Douglass, the first song he ever heard that made him think of a life beyond slavery, delivered simply by Runako Robinson, Valerie Carter-Brown, Big Llou Johnson, Tony Dale, Fred Campeau, and Katherine Davis; "Them Old Black Gnats," an a cappella song of suffering with a hidden message of resistance marked by Big Llou Johnson's mournful baritone; "Anchor Line," a mournful blues with an implied message of escape on the underground railroad sung by Andrew Calhoun the tune is also known as "The Crawdad Song"; and "Ol' Egyp'," a chilling song of escape from the bloodhounds of the slave masters. "Hear the Trumpet Sound," a staple from the songbook of the Fisk Jubilee Singers with mournful cello accompaniment, is a song full of resolute faith and somber resignation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2008
  • Label: Waterbug Records
  • UPC: 753114008324
  • Catalog Number: 83

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Andrew Calhoun Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Dave Moore Banjo, Fiddle, Harmonica, Strings, Trumpet, Cello
Richard Shindell Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Erwin Helfer Percussion, Piano
Fred Campeau Banjo, Vocals, Choir, Chorus, Fretless Banjo
Sue Demel Vocals, Choir, Chorus
Bruce Roper Vocals
Tony Dale Percussion, Bass Drums, Vocals, Choir, Chorus, Snare Drums, Djembe, Bodhran
David Allen Young Trumpet, Vocals
Tyisha Williams Vocals
Runako Robinson Vocals
Big Llou Johnson Vocals
Technical Credits
Andrew Calhoun Arranger, Producer, Author
Bessie Jones Author
Bruce Roper Engineer, Mastering
John Svec Engineer
Traditional Composer
Mark Frethem Engineer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    This is the best album Andrew has done in years. As a compilation of Negro spirituals it's a total departure from his previous work, while it retains the elements of his best stuff: his melancholy, his poignant and somewhat romantic, weary sadness, as well as his playful humour as exemplified by the album's title, a pun title of one of its stellar tracks. All clichés aside, it truly gets better with each hearing. Listen on good headphones as there is no better way to capture and enjoy the subtle nuances of its musical and vocal harmonies and interlocking messages. Every short song develops a richness, a depth of meaning that is similar to Andrew's own best songwriting and creates a unified whole that has the effect of literature. As always, Andrew's guitar sings and dances with his music as a good partner should, in a way that makes me long for more and soon. All of his co-artists are excellent, particularly Tyisha Williams. I LOVE Tyisha Williams' voice, so sweet, clear and bell-like, so redolent of clear crystalline water flowing somehow at once both cool and warm. The first notes of the album are hers in the opening number "Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel." While lovely, this only foreshadows what arrives with "Go To Sleep, My Baby." Even thinking of Ms. Williams' heartfelt performance in that song makes me cry hot tears. Not to be missed in this life is a little duet of sorts between Andrew and his incredibly talented daughter Casey in adjoining solo songs: Casey in "Turkle Dove" backed by Andrew and other male voices and immediately followed by some of Andrew's best acapella work in "Come Go With Me." Casey's voice is sweet and crisp and warm and lovely, her heart open and available. His following her performance with his own, soaring vocal is only fitting, and the two songs together nearly stop my heart from beating in much the way "Come and Go With Me" ends. I honestly believe that is the best, most achingly vulnerable acapella work Andrew has done. Ever. And that is saying a lot. The packaging is superb, including the cover art. Andrew's detailed, explanatory notes are in a separate booklet that doubles as a pleasant history lesson. Everyone I know is getting a copy at Holiday time, guaranteed.

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